We Track Down the Best Soul Food in Melbourne

By Iro Kotsimbos
20th Feb 2015

Soul food in Melbourne has surfed an epic wave of popularity recently…and with damn good reason! 

The cuisine, a close relative of American BBQ, is a celebration of the delicious hearty food typically found in America’s South—think mac ‘n’ cheese, pulled pork, sliders, ribs, and everyone’s favourite, fried chicken. Finish that off with some pecan pie or peach cobbler, wash it down with some iced tea, and then you’ll see why soul food is just so damn good.

So where to find these delicious eats? We put on our stretchiest of stretchy pants and got eating (and eating…and eating…) to bring you this list of the best soul food in Melbourne.


White Oaks Saloon


After a trip through the South, brothers Tom and Nicholas Welch became obsessed with soul food, deciding to open up a saloon-style bar and restaurant of their own. The result? White Oaks Saloon in Prahran—a cosy space serving up some of the finest soul food Melbourne has to offer, including sweet potato corn bread, Southern fried chicken (the Cajun Tabasco mayo that comes with it is TO DIE FOR), Cajun chicken tacos and the most deliciously droolworthy pulled pork sliders. Complete and utter heaven.


Mr Big Stuff

Melbourne CBD

You can thank Mr Big Stuff for bringing a whole lotta soul to the Melbourne CBD—not only do they nail soul food (hushpuppies, shrimp and grits, kale greens, and fried chicken and waffles, anyone?), they have a complete soul vibe going on. The cheekily named restaurant has an in-house DJ spinning slick soul tunes while you munch away. The drinks list at Mr Big Stuff is also SPECTACULAR—never have we tried a better Long Island Ice Tea!




Blurring the line between American BBQ and soul food in Melbourne, Meatmother in Richmond totally kills it with their sweet, sweet menu of BBQ meats (all served with a side of Texas toast), Southern-style sides and deeeelicious cocktails. The soul food loving restaurant is also home to one epically tasty dessert, the Peanut Butter Cheesecake, which if I could marry, I would.


The Collection Bar


Another one of our favourite places for soul food in Melbourne is The Collection Bar—a neat little bar and restaurant on the eastern end of Bridge Road in Richmond. Grab a seat at the bar (there’s also a number of tables available) and get stuck into dishes such as mac ‘n’ cheese croquettes and Lousiana spicy fried chicken, the latter served with smoked ham hock and red beans. Oh, and for the love of all things good and holy, get the bread pudding with bourbon butterscotch sauce for dessert. You won’t regret it!


Miss Katie’s Crab Shack

North Melbourne (but about to relocate!)

Our roundup of the best soul food in Melbourne wouldn’t be complete without Miss Katie’s Crab Shack—after all, who does a better country crab boil than Miss Katie?! NO-ONE, that’s who! It’s not all crustacean craziness though; the menu also features a few other soul food faves, including jambalaya, cornbread, fried chicken and waffles, and good ol’ cobb salad. Oh Miss Katie, how we love you so.


Image Credit: Alex McIntyre for The Urban List

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